Comedian Dave Chappelle is being criticized for comments he made about the LGBTQ+ community in his latest Netflix special. In “The Closer,” which premiered on Tuesday, Chappelle addressed several controversies surrounding his past comments on the LGBTQ+ community.
Chappelle talked about how other Black rappers and comedians have been “canceled” and lost monetary projects because of divisive comments or jokes, including comedian Kevin Hart and rapper.
“In our country, you can shoot and kill a n**** but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” Chappelle quipped. “And this is precisely the disparity that I wish to discuss.”
Chappelle also made a series of comments on transgender people, agreeing with “Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling on her anti-trans statements. “I’m team TERF!” Chappelle said, referring to trans exclusionary radical feminism, an anti-trans section of radical feminism.
“Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth,” Chappelle said.
Chappelle also said that he “beat up” a lesbian in a nightclub after he approached her partner, and she later tried to sell the story to TMZ. “I whooped the toxic masculinity out of that b****,” he said.
Several viewers took affront to Chappelle’s numerous jabs at transgender people, including an explicit comment about a transgender person’s genitals.
“Chapelle’s transphobia & lack of understanding that Blk ppl can be both Black *&* gay shows exactly why it’s critical to understand intersectionality & how Blk cishet men, despite being marginalized for their Blkness, can perpetuate systems of oppression,” Dr. Oni Blackstock tweeted Wednesday.
The comedian ended the special by saying he would not be making anymore jokes about gay people until everyone agreed “we are laughing together,” so long as the LGBTQ+ community stopped taking away job opportunities from people who offend them.
Chappelle said he had a “close” relationship with transgender comedian Daphne Dorman before she died by suicide in 2019, and he is now dedicated to taking care of her daughter. Chappelle considered Dorman a part of his “tribe.”
“I don’t know what the trans community did for her, but I don’t care because I feel like she wasn’t their tribe. She was mine. She was a comedian in her soul,” Chappelle said, before explaining that he will no longer tell jokes with gay people as the punchline.
“I’m telling you, it’s done, I’m done talking about it. All I ask of your community, with all humility: Will you please stop punching down on my people?” Chappelle said. “Empathy is not gay. Empathy is not black. Empathy is bisexual — it must go both ways.”